If you spend any time at all on social media, you will eventually see something about shaming. Passenger-shaming, drink-shaming, body shaming, and more. While some believe it is their God-given right to shame whomever they wish, there are also those who believe that no one should feel any shame at all. Where is the line?
As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.
Luke 13:17 (ESV)
I believe shame to be useful as pain is useful. Do we want to feel it? Of course not! Should we feel it? Perhaps.
Like pain, shame often tells us that something is wrong. When Jesus continued to perform miracles on the Sabbath, the rulers of the synagogue were indignant. Apparently performing miracles was considered work. Jesus then proceeded to explain his reasons and the men of the synagogue were put to shame. They used religious excuses to avoid doing the real work they were called to.
I don’t think Jesus’ intent was to make them feel like horrible people, but rather to use their shame as a tool to correct wrong thinking.
If you feel shameful about your actions, were they the right actions? If you feel shameful about your words, were they the right words?
The next time you feel ashamed, take a moment to think about the reasons why. Rather than becoming angry and indignant to try to make yourself feel better, use that feeling as an indicator. Like pain tells us that something is wrong, shame can work the same.
Didn’t Jesus come to take away shame? Yes, He did! But He also told us to turn away from the things that bring us shame.
Sin no more. Feel shame no more.
Daily Bible reading: 1 Samuel 7-9; Luke 13:1-21